We are visual beings that are being continually watched and observed. Knowing how to relate to your body and move it purposefully when presenting, allows for a more dynamic, seamless and engaging delivery.
So let’s talk body language…
WE DESERVE TO BE SEEN!
With specified and heartfelt intention, our bodies can clearly relay our message, but when we are absent, they can also clumsily mislead. If we have no feeling or opinion of our subject the body is left disconnected and inert, so to begin, we need to have some awareness around this important subject. Here are my top five tips for getting aligned with your body and engaging it as a powerful tool for public speaking.
Be soft and strong in your body, above all don’t shrink or hide in the hope that we can’t see you, we can! Realign your spine by evenly adjusting your weight between your right and left side and lift up out of your pelvis. Imagine your vertebrae long and straight. Drop your shoulders down away from your ears, keep your neck straight and your arms loose by the sides of the body. Stay relaxed.
Tip: Be mindful of how you carry yourself. Visualise length and lightness, then observe how subtle shifts begin to occur. GESTURE. If you need to use your hands, then do, if you need to walk around, then do; if you need to throw your arms in the air to celebrate, then do. Don’t let any rule stop you! Work with your body, your message and your intentions - be visual, be seen! Tip: When you are truly connected to your words, the voice and body will carry and express the message perfectly. Be free. EYES. People like to be seen, engage your audience first with a smile and take them in one face at a time. The eyes reveal so much about what we think and feel so look up and look out, even if you don't feel like it. Act as if. Tip: Shift the focus away from ‘everyone is looking at me’ and start looking at them. Bring your vision to just above the headline to help centre your gaze. SMILE. It brightens a room immediately. It sends a clear message to your listener that you are happy they are there. It relays a positive energy that allows the other to relax. A smile is hugely contagious! Bring your biggest most heartfelt smile to your speech or presentation and notice how it changes your physicality… Tip: Whether your smile is met with another smile or not, always lean into the art of giving. A sense of peace and gratitude follows a smile, and this brings remarkable results. Sometimes we all have to fake it to make it. HANDS. Often an obstacle for those consumed with ‘nerves’ but our hands are a symbol of our expression and can conduct the most powerful of messages, if used mindfully. Don’t be afraid to use your hands as an aid to steady energy and adrenaline. Tip: If you find yourself shaking, take a hold of the lectern or hold your hands comfortably together in front of the body. Breathing deeply will release the excess energy. Your hands are there to help not hinder. Go slowly! Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org